Pneumothorax

 

Loculated Pneumothorax
SLE AND PE
24 year old male with SLE presented with chest pain and dyspnea and initial CT showed occlusive pulmonary emboli to the right lower lobe (a,b, red arrowhead) with total occlusion of the right lobe artery extending into posterior basal segmental vessels (red ring d compared with normal vessels surrounded by white rin (d). An associated wedge shaped ground glass region is noted (e,f red arrowhead) representing either hemorrhage or early infarction
Ashley Davidoff MD

SLE, PE, BRONCHOPLEURAL FISTULA, AND LOCULATED PNEUMOTHORAX
24 year old male with SLE presented with chest pain and dyspnea and initial CT showed occlusive pulmonary emboli to the right lower lobe initially associated with a wedge shaped ground glass region. 2 weeks later this evolved into a bronchopleural fistula, with a loculated pneumothorax in the right lower lobe (green star in a,b,c,d).with an air fluid level (yellow arrowhead in a,c,d) and a region of compressive atelectasis (white arrowhead a,c,d).
Ashley Davidoff MD

TENSION PNEUMOTHORAX
65 year old male s/p MVA presents in shock. Scout film (top left) shows left sided tension pneumothorax with rightward mediastinal shift. Axial CT through the liver (top right) shows expanded pneumothorax at the left lung base with reflux of contrast into the IVC.. Contrast also refluxes into the right renal vein (bottom left) and into the internal iliac veins (bottom right) Associated pneumatosis intestinalis in the sigmoid colon is present as well and likely secondary to the tension pneumothorax
Ashley Davidoff MD TheCommonVein.net

Definition

Pneumothorax is a mechanical disorder of the lung and pleural space characterized by the abnormal accumulation of air in the pleural space, with iatrogenic disease and trauma being the leading cause, but uncommonly is associated with spontaneous rupture of a bulla in young thin patients.

The resulting air creates a mechanical disadvantage to lung movement in that the movement of the lung and thus air movement is limitied.  When large it can compromise lung function.

It may be complicated by tension pneumothorax as air that  gets in to the pleural space continues to accumulate without egress and the increasing resulting pressure compresses low pressure cardiovascular structures causing cardiorespiratory difficulty that could end in death if untreated.

The diagnosis is suspected clinicallyand confirmed by CXR.

Treatment depends on the size of the pneumothorax.  When large a pigtail catheter or formal chest is used and when small close observation is necessary.  tension pneumothorax is an emergency and when suspected immediate decompression with a large bore needle should be attempted.

Accumulation of air in the pleural space leading to collapse of the underlying lung can occur spontaneously in tall and slim young adults or in patients with history of emphysema. Such patients usually present with an acute onset of unilateral pleuritic pain that may be associated with dyspnea. Depending on the size of the pneumothorax, it can be managed conservatively by observation or by evacuation of the air through placement of a chest tube.

TENSION PNEUMOTHORAX
This is the type of CXR that sends shivers down the spine. The overall blackness of the left chest cavity, in association with a nubbin of lung tissue in the ipsilateral hilum and rightward mediastinal shift is characteristic of a tension pneumothorax with total atelectasis of the left lung. Immediate and urgent decompression with a chest drain is indicated.
Courtesy of: Ashley Davidoff, M.D.

Unusual Cases

Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. CT scans in a 32-year-old man with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and a CD4 count of 7cells per microliter who presented with respiratory arrest. (a) Axial and (b) coronal images in lung windows demonstrate a moderate right pneumothorax (*) and widespread ground-glass and airspace opacities.
Parekh, M et al Review of the Chest CT Differential Diagnosis of Ground-Glass Opacities in the COVID Era Radiology Vol. 297, No. 3 July 2020
LEFT PTX SARCOIDOSIS, STAGE IV, PTX, ENCASEMENT
50-year-old male presents with history of Stage 4 sarcoidosis acute chest pain and dyspnea
The initial CXR shows a left sided pneumothorax, diffuse nodular pattern with confluent perihilar infiltrates and a left pleural effusion
Ashley Davidoff MD

The Common Vein Copyright 2008

Tall ThinYoung – Spontaneous Pneumothorax with Mediastinal Shift

This is the type of CXR that sends shivers down the spine. The overall blackness of the left chest cavity, in association with a nubbin of lung tissue in the ipsilateral hilum and rightward mediastinal shift is characteristic of a tension pneumothorax with total atelectasis of the left lung. Immediate and urgent decompression with a chest drain is indicated. One must also remember that if a tall thin young patient presents with chest pain the diagnosis of dissecting aneurysm in a patient with Marfan’s syndrome has to be considered.

Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD 42525 code lung pleura dx tension pneumothorax plain film CXR 5star medical students